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Appeals to intuitions as evidence in philosophy are challenged by experimental philosophers and other critics. A common response to experimental philosophical criticisms is to hold that only professional philosophers intuitions count as evidence in philosophy. This expert intuitions defence is inadequate for two reasons. First, recent studies indicate significant variability in professional philosophers intuitions. Second, the academic literature on professional intuitions gives us reasons to doubt that professional philosophers develop truth-apt intuitions. The onus falls on those who mount the expert intuitions defence to meet these objections because it is implicitly being claimed that training and practice caused professional philosophers to acquire reliably accurate intuitions and we are owed an account of how this transformation takes place. A possible response to this situation is to attempt to reform philosophical practice to improve the quality of intuitions. Another possible response, advocated here, is to avoid appeals to intuitions as evidence. © 2013 Copyright The Editorial Board, Philosophical Papers.

Original publication




Journal article


Philosophical Papers

Publication Date





175 - 207